Today, the 3rd of August, the Basque Culinary Center, the San Sebastián Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival have presented the programme for the “Culinary Zinema: Film and Gastronomy” section. Thomas Struck, head of the “Culinary Cinema” section at the Berlin Film Festival, Joxe Mari Aizega, director of the Basque Culinary Center, and José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastián Film Festival attended the press conference.
After the excellent reception that the “Culinary Zinema: Film and Gastronomy” section got, which started running last year, the 60th San Sebastián Film Festival has programmed a selection of seven full-length films and one short film that focus on gastronomy. The screenings will be accompanied by themed dinners prepared by some of the most important chefs and restaurants.
“Culinary Zinema: Film and Gastronomy” is a collaboration between the San Sebastián Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival and the Basque Culinary Center, and its main aim is to combine cinema and gastronomy in a city and region that not only have a competitive festival in the top category of the FIAPF, but also the highest concentration of Michelin stars per square metre in the world.
The programme this year includes eight films: the premiere of six full-length films and a short film, and the recovery of Babettes gaestebud (Babette’s Feast, 1987), the film by Gabriel Axel that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1988.
September 22nd: COMME UN CHEF (THE CHEF) by Daniel Cohen (France)
The star chef Alexandre Vauclair doesn’t get on with the new management of the company that owns his restaurant, who prefer to go for new molecular cuisine. Vauclair is frantic and at a loss for ideas for the new menu that the food critics will be judging for the Guide. Alexandre needs inspiration and a new assistant. It is then that he gets to know Jacky, a lover of haute cuisine, self-taught, obstinate and really talented.
September 23rd: ENTRE LES BRAS by Paul Lacoste (France)
In 2009, Michel Bras, at the head of a 3-star restaurant (Michelin guide), in the heart of the Aubrac region, decides to hand over to his son Sébastien. A father and his son. Both at a crucial time in their careers. Is it possible to pass on one’s life’s work? Is it so easy for a son to make a name for himself? A documentary about a family over three generations and passing down of culinary heritage.
September 24th: LUPE EL DE LA VACA (LUPE OF THE COW) by Blanca Aguerre (Mexico)
"Lupe el de la vaca" is the name of an unusual character who we never get to see but who provides this documentary with its title, and serves as an entertaining pretext to get to know the people in a community in the Sierra del Tigre, Jalisco, and to talk about subsistence in the Mexican countryside. A simple, kind-hearted tribute to these agricultural workers who love what they do.
September 25th: JERUSALEM ON A PLATE by James Nutt (United Kingdom)
Internationally-renowned chef Yotam Ottolenghi returns to his home town of Jerusalem to discover the hidden treasures of its extraordinarily rich and diverse food culture. He meets and cooks with both Arabs and Jews in restaurants and at home who draw on hundreds of years of tradition to create the dishes that define the city, and explores the flavours and recipes that have influenced his palate.
September 27th: LES SAVEURS DU PALAIS (HAUTE CUISINE) by Christian Vincent (France)
Hortense Laborie, a well known chef from Périgord, can’t quite believe that the president of the Republic has appointed her his personal chef, and that from now on she will have to prepare all his private meals at the Élysée Palace. Despite the jealousy and envy of many members of the kitchen staff, it doesn’t take Hortense long to earn their respect thanks to her genius. The authentic style of her dishes wins over the president, but the corridors of power are littered with obstacles. Based on the extraordinary true story of François Mitterrand’s private chef.
September 27th: BABETTES GAESTEBUD (BABETTE’S FEAST) by Gabriel Axel (Denmark)
An undisputed classic of gastronomic cinema is back, in a restored and digitalized print. The film is based on a novel by Isaak Dinesen and starring Stéphane Audran. In an isolated village in Denmark, dominated by Puritanism, two spinsters nostalgically recall their distant youth and the rigid upbringing that forced them to pass up their chance at happiness. When Babette appears from Paris, fleeing the Terror, this will change their lives. The newcomer will have the chance to repay the kindness and warmth with which she is received by organising an opulent meal with the very best dishes and wines that French cuisine can offer.
September 28th: PERÚ SABE: LA COCINA, ARMA SOCIAL by Jesús M. Santos (Peru-Spain)
Culture, biodiversity and a mixture of influences have made Peruvian cuisine the main hallmark of the country and an international benchmark. Tens of thousands of youngsters live this passionately. In this documentary, Ferran Adrià and Gastón Acurio travel around Peru (Cuzco, Iquitos, Lima, Arequipa, the Sierra Central , Piura, Pisco…), talk to chefs, and get together with thousands of young people to try and understand the phenomenon. The Pachacútec school in the poorest neighbourhood in Lima is the symbol of cuisine as a social weapon.
September 28th: KITCHEN DREAMS by Felipe Ugarte (short) (Spain)
Naia is an eight-year old girl who likes to play with her toy kitchen: “I like cooking because I have a really good time”. When she grows up she wants to be a chef, and when she goes to bed at night and closes her eyes, she thinks about how much she likes cooking. Then her dreams take her off to a magical world, where her wishes come true.
COMME UN CHEF (EL CHEF)
Basque Culinary Center
Aizpea Oihaneder & Xabi Díez from the Xarma restaurant in Donostia and Roberto Ruiz from the Frontón de Tolosa restaurant
ENTRE LES BRAS
LUPE EL DE LA VACA (LUPE OF THE COW)
Mirador de Ulía
Rubén Trincado from the Mirador de Ulía restaurant and Bruno Oteiza from the Biko restaurant in Mexico City
JERUSALEM ON A PLATE
LES SAVEURS DU PALAIS (HAUTE CUISINE)
Iñigo Lavado (Irún)
BABETTES GAESTEBUD (BABETTE’S FEAST)
PERÚ SABE: LA COCINA, ARMA SOCIAL
Basque Culinary Center
Luis Arévalo from the Nikkei 225 restaurant in Madrid
Aizpea Oihaneder & Xabi Díaz from the Xarma restaurant
Aizpea and Xabi have been working together for more than ten years in a career that has taken them from the sophisticated Rocamador in Badajoz, where they won a Michelin star, to Donostia, with a project where they create a subtle, state-of-the-art cuisine, with highly sound basic elements and total concern for the excellence of their produce.
Roberto Ruíz from the Tolosa’s Frontón restaurant
Chef for the last 20 years at Tolosa’s Frontón, the pelota court restaurant celebrated as a temple of produce. Roberto studies the origin of dishes, working with producers to achieve the qualities he proceeds to transform with the finest of culinary skills.
Mikel Gallo from ni neu restaurant Mikel runs a kitchen that aims to be accessible. He achieves this perfectly with cooking based on nods to tradition but which is totally backed up by modern highly personal techniques. The result is magnificent, easily understood and perfectly in keeping with ni neu’s unique setting: accessible excellence.
Rubén Trincado from the Mirador de Ulía restaurant Owner and chef of the Mirador de Ulía restaurant. Holds a Michelin star since 2010. Seriously cutting edge cuisine from a chef who leads the way in things to come.
Bruno Oteiza from the restaurant Biko (Mexico City)
He started working in the kitchen when he was very young and there are few chefs with his training and career with great chefs in great restaurants. He is probably closest to Juan Mari Arzak as he has worked on projects in Mexico. Bruno currently owns the D.O. restaurants together with Pablo San Román, and the Biko, considered to be among the top 50 in the world, all of them in Mexico.
He is a media-friendly TV chef, but above all, a benchmark and a genuine bridge between Mexican and Basque cultures.
Josean Eizmendi from the Illarra restaurant
Today the Illarra restaurant is a must in the world of the grill, an evolving technique sending strong ripples through the sector of which Josean is a recognised, prizewinning author. An inquisitive, outgoing chef who loves to teach those who delight in his food and refuses to offer anything but the best.
Iñigo Lavado from the Iñigo Lavado restaurant (Irún)
A chef young in years yet already boasting an excellent professional career. Having trained in top establishments, his is a solid project. Always eager to explore new ways of working and managing. His trademark is a model of restaurant taking the forefront in all fields.
Mikel Santamaría from the Bokado Aquarium restaurant
Mikel officiates at the Aquarium’s Bokado eatery, a place of spectacular views and excellent gastronomy. Backed by long experience in modern and avant-garde cuisine, Mikel is also highly skilled in carrying off events of truly extraordinary quality.
Luis Arévalo from the Nikkei 225 restaurant in Madrid
The Peruvian Luis Arévalo works in a restaurant that is exceptional due to its location in Madrid as well as its architecture and decor.
Luis Arévalo’s cooking is a personal, highly refined style, deeply-rooted in Peruvian tradition and culture, but fused with Japanese elements. There is an authentic, highly personal touch in his creations. A personal, constantly evolving proposal offering what is known as Nikkei cuisine.